Our Affiliated Project: Hogar Santa Julia in San Miguel de Allende, México

 

Quick facts about Hogar Santa Julia:

  • Ages served: Girls of all ages.
  • Facility description: Dormitories house the younger girls in one area and the older girls in another area for privacy. The home also includes classrooms for tutoring, a library, computer lab, space for art and psychological support and a modern dining hall and kitchen.
  • Education: School-aged girls attend local public schools, where core academic subjects are taught. The sisters who run the home also provide other skills in such areas as embroidery, sewing, cooking and music.
  • Academic year: School typically begins in mid-August and ends in late June. Students enjoy summer vacation from early July through mid-August, with a two-week winter break in December.
  • Nutrition and health: The Home provides nutritious meals each day, and the girls’ health is closely monitored. Medical and psychological care is provided as needed.

Mexico, with its rugged mountains, rocky deserts, lush forests and tropical beaches, is home to over 200,000 species of animals. Humans have called this breathtaking land home for at least 10,000 years. Prior to Spanish conquest and colonization, countless Mesoamerican nations thrived here, including such civilizations as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya and Aztec. Today, Mexico is the world’s tenth-largest nation — and largest Spanish-speaking country by population — with a growing, diversified economy and a relatively stable democratic government. Mexico’s wealth of culture, history, natural resources and beauty, however, belies the condition of poverty in which many of its people live. Crime and murder rates here are high, and corruption and drug cartel activity are constant sources of concern despite recent improvements on these issues.

The beautiful colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, though a favorite haunt of tourists and artists, is no exception to these maladies. Indeed, its bohemian façade conceals the poverty in which many of its residents live. To help address these issues, Hogar Santa Julia was founded in 1954 as a home for orphaned and impoverished girls. Today, the home serves as a refuge for children affected by the tragic realities of poverty — and a place where they receive the opportunity to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.